Accusing the Congress of encouraging “radical” elements to create disturbances in Punjab, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said that Congress was playing a dangerous game for political gains.
“The Congress party is playing a dangerous game. It is encouraging and supporting radical and secessionist activities in the border state,” Badal said recalling that Punjab had paid very dearly for the same brand of politics in the 1980s when the state was reeling under militancy.
Addressing the media here ahead of his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee, Badal targeted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for turning a blind eye to Congress leaders extending “overt and covert” support to the political leaders engaged in radical politics in the state.
He said that under Rahul Gandhi’s stewardship, the Congress was trying to take Punjab back to its dark days. He sought derecognition of the Congress.
Congress was quick to attack Badal dismissing his charges.
The party MP and former state chief minister, Captain Amrinder Singh said, “We in Congress do not need any lessons on patriotism and nationalism from someone like Sukhbir Badal, whose father and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal still takes pride in having burnt the copies of the Constitution of India during Khalistan movement.”
He added, “We are strong enough on our own to make you march out of Punjab and we really don’t need anybody’s help, much less that of the radicals. . However we are open to alliance with like-minded parties only and not the radicals.”
On the recent sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib – the Holy book of the Sikhs – which led to widespread disturbances in Punjab, Badal suspected a conspiracy including the involvement of a foreign hand.
Saying that since it involved an investigation that was beyond the scope of Punjab Police, Badal added that the matter has been handed over to the CBI which was probing it.